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Sandwich City Council OKs Metronet cable, internet franchise pact

Sandwich residents will have an additional cable television and high-speed internet provider to consider next year as a result of action taken this past week by the city council.

After a public hearing, the council voted to adopt a resolution allowing Metronet to install its equipment and make its services available to city residents.

No one from the public questioned or commented on the service during the hearing.

The resolution authorized Mayor Rick Olson to execute a franchise cable agreement with the company for the construction, operation and maintenance of a cable system.

According to the agreement, the firm, which was started in 2005, will provide 100 percent high-speed fiber for voice, video and internet, cable television and telephone service to residential and business customers.

Olson said Metronet operates in more than 30 communities in Indiana and Illinois.

He said the city’s legal counsel reviewed the agreement and said it was comparable to the agreement Sandwich has with Comcast.

Olson said Metronet believes its strong suit is good customer service.

Steve Jones, Metronet business sales manager, said the company is operating in Plainfield, Romeoville, Oswego and Montgomery. He said it has also received franchise agreements to install equipment in North Aurora, Batavia, Geneva, South Elgin, Bloomington-Normal and St. Charles.

He said Metronet received a franchise approval with DeKalb and with Yorkville as well as Plano last week. It also has received approval from Sycamore and Kane County.

Jones told council members the firm’s corporate office is in Evansville, Indiana, but said it has regional offices in Plainfield and Oswego and will open one soon in Geneva.

In response to an alderman’s question, Jones said the company is competitive with Comcast in most of its locations and said his firm believes they provide more services for less cost.

He said Metronet is smaller than Comcast, so it can focus on good customer service and attention.

Jones said it does not have residential contracts. Metronet will bring the cable to a customer’s home at no cost and charge the customer the same rate the TV providers charge Metronet.

Jones said if customers are not happy with the service, Metronet will disconnect the cable at no cost.

He said Metronet does a two-year price lock on TV service and a two-year lock on phone service.

He said Metronet will be bringing in feeder lines and doing some overhead construction next fall and winter and be ready to provide service in the spring of 2019.

The entire city should be served by the end of 2019, he added.

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